Alessandro Florenzi has had a strange career at Roma. He is highly revered by the club’s fans and has donned the captain’s armband on many occasions. But his future has hardly been secure at the Stadio Olimpico.
Now 28, the Italian hasn’t exactly gone out of favour under Paulo Fonseca. He has played eight times this season and has shown how versatile a player he can be. Donning the captain’s armband in every game, Florenzi has not scored or assisted yet in what has been a period of resurgence for the Giallorossi.
Last season, Florenzi was a regular. He was a trusted guard under Claudio Ranieri and Eusebio di Francesco. In total, he had 38 appearances in all competitions to his name. He had three goals and just as many assists in his bag too.
Since suffering two cruciate ligament injuries around 2016, it is fair to say he has recovered his career well enough. But the reason why he is a divisive figure is his wage demands. It is about how much he earns.
Some see him as a faithful leader. Others see him as a greedy player who plays for the money. A new contract that he signed last year saw him earn €4 million a year. That has become a subject of scorn among the Giallorossi faithful.
Reports (Radio Radio via SempreInter) are now saying that Florenzi is unhappy with how much he’s playing this season. With the Euros coming up next year, he wants regular football to stake a claim to playing for Italy in the tournament. This has led to links with Inter.
It isn’t the first time Florenzi has drawn links with the Nerazzurri. But this probably the best time for those links to come up. With Antonio Conte in charge, Florenzi might be just the sort of addition Inter need.
Conte’s 3-5-2 shape has four full-back options. Cristiano Biraghi has become the first-choice left wing-back, while Antonio Candreva is the regular on the right. But the experienced Kwadwo Asamoah is a good option at left wing-back, with summer signing Valentino Lazaro the second-choice on the right.
The experienced Danilo D’Ambrosio has often played at right wing-back too. He played against Lazio and added more defensive cover on that side.
Conte has been vocal about a lack of depth in the side. After Inter’s loss to Dortmund, he went on a rant saying how the side doesn’t have enough depth and quality.
He said (SportItalia via FootballItalia):
“We have too limited a squad to face both Serie A and Champions League football this season. I mean limited both in terms of numbers and quality,”
That is true to a large extent considering how Inter have witnessed a loss in form after the injury that Stefano Sensi sustained against Juventus. In midfield, they have only three players who can improve that midfield- Sensi, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic.
Florenzi can play in three positions- anywhere on the left, anywhere on the right or in central midfield. He has the workrate and technical ability to control games- exactly why Di Francesco often used him as a wide playmaker in a full-back. He had the tenacity to take up such an important role after two serious injuries.
That says a lot about the player’s mentality. And he deserves credit for that. What Conte loves are players with a similar sort of tough mentality and high workrate. Florenzi is exactly that.
He is 28 and is very mature. He has loads of experience under his belt- something Conte did talk about after the Dortmund game. Florenzi can contribute a lot in multiple positions and act with immense tenacity. If Inter get the chance, they should not miss out.